Friday, September 10, 2010

Publishing RPG Material To Avoid Real Work? HAHA, SUCKER!

The good new is that both No Dignity in Death and People of Pembrooktonshire are sold out. You can still get them from the vendors... for now.

I still have a few box sets I can sell for individual orders, but none to sell wholesale to vendors. I can exaggerate a wee bit and say that my vendors are scrambling to acquire the available stock out there - IPR went from 40 available copies to zero instantly after I told someone I can't restock them. Maybe it isn't an exaggeration to call it scrambling.

Get it while you can. As mentioned, I'll have copies with me at Stockholms Spelkonvent next weekend, Spiel in Essen next month (Hall 6, booth 6-313, I'll be with the Arkkikivi people...), and at Dragonmeet in London in November if anybody from that organization bothers to return my emails.

The second edition of the game has to happen soon. It won't be a straight reprint. The Deluxe Edition will forever be retired.

I'm talking to a printer about formats. Whether it'll be another box set in a different format, or a hardcover book, or what, is still up in the air. However, with the big interest in the Deluxe Edition, I'm literally going for broke... looking to do a couple thousand of these.

Death Ferox Doom is progressing nicely. I'm talking to a couple printers about formats for this. One idea that would bring the per-book cost down is printing it as a perfectbound book with all the maps and player handouts being on perforated pages. The only issue there is that two-thirds of the book would be in this format so if you did tear all the pages out the remainder of the book would look odd. Hopefully the tax office response comes back soon and comes back sensible - offering a free PDF with each physical book sold would give further options to having the material available without ripping out most of the book. I'd also have to print more copies than usual (you need a "real" printer for this kind of thing, including the inserts for color illustrations, and that means bulk printing), but the usual module format I've used up to this point really doesn't fit this project and would make it really expensive per book. ah, such risk on a project that's almost designed to give people a jarring and brutal reading experience with art choices being made to make the book repulsive to look at. I'm either a genius or I'm an idiot. Possibly both.

There's another top secret project that's in the "negotiating the contract" phase right now. This will be a hardcover book. I probably mentioned this already, but I love repeating it: the printer I'm working with has been in business since 1890 and has never done some of the things I'm asking for as far as format goes. This won't be as expensive as it sounds from these few words but it's still going to add up on my end. It's alright to weep for me, I know you're wanting to.

I have no idea where the money is going to come from to pay for all these projects (I'd say FROM YOU, but that's not until after they are printed...), so I'm pushing the monster book to the back burner. No real work has been done on it yet, and something's got to give.

Oh, and Gaming All Over the Place has reviewed the box set here. They've also spoiled the opening disclaimer here.

... back to work!


  1. Congratulations! It's great to hear things are going so well.

    I went back to Milsims in Melbourne for another copy of Deluxe (hey, it it's going to disappear for ever!) but they'd sold out.. Had to get a copy of Hammers of the God instead.

    Awesome work.

  2. Have you ever thought about some version of the patron model?
    Patrons pay up front, but might get the "deluxe" version of a project.
    Other customers and distributors get the normal version.

  3. Wow, after reading Grognardia's review, I'd just ordered this yesterday from IPR. Very glad that I didn't wait one more day, and I'm hoping their inventory system is real-time and accurate...

  4. James, would it make sense to make Death Ferox Doom a 2-book product? Of course, how to package it becomes a problem. Shrink-wrap sucks because then you can't thumb through it at the store.

    Or another option is to make it saddle-stitched, with the art pages in the center of the book. Then people could bend the staples to remove the art, and then bend the staples back to their original shape.

  5. The two-book thing was the first idea I had, but it would be expensive... more expensive than just two modules together because A- the illustration book will alone be bigger than any module I've done, and B- it's all illustrations which have to be figured into the cost.

    One saddle-stitched book is not possible, at least not with my current printer. I don't know how you did a 90 page Carcosa book but the printer I use says 52 pages + cover is the limit (which is how I decided how many player illustrations there would be :P).

    Oh, Brasidas, contact IPR ASAP and ask...

  6. Not offering any advise, really, just the observation that this consumer greatly appreciates the form factor of your modules and box set. Not only are they distinctive, but I have found them to be surprisingly practical (e.g., for carrying around, for having the info at my finger tips, etc.). Keep up the great work.

  7. This is really burning me up considering my boxed set I ordered from IPR is in limbo at the moment.

    If they've lost it or screwed up my order, I will not be amused.

  8. "Oh, Brasidas, contact IPR ASAP and ask..."

    Thanks for the advice. I've done that, and after reading Scott's comment and forum post, I've placed a backup order from another retailer. I figure two copies are better than no copies. :)